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Pirate Booty: Raiders Practice Reports, Hard Knocks and Team Fines for Flagrant Hits

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The Raider News Booty be Football This Time Mateys!

34 Raiders filled a high school football field in Buford,GA for a workout and some light 7-on-7. The articles below have plenty of quotes, pics and the NFL.com piece has video interviews.

NFL.com news: Seymour's solo act sets intense tone during Raiders' workout
There are certain guys in the NFL who make a difference with their play. There are others, like Richard Seymour that make a difference with their presence.

Richard Seymour leads the way on field and off as Oakland Raiders gather for workout - San Jose Mercury News
Raiders defensive lineman organizes Georgia workouts

Raider Nation invades Georgia for minicamp | Atlanta Falcons
Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour and quarterback Jason Campbell sent out the message and their teammates answered. A total of 34 players took

Jump over for the rest of the booty....

Hard Knocks Knock Who's There? ...Hello? Anyone?

 

Teams are turning down HBO's Hard Knocks that have even been asked now.

Falcons turn down HBO's Hard Knocks- Rotoworld.com

The more teams that turn them down the more likely they are to negotiate their access with teams, and the more say they give Al Davis the better the chances of the Raiders agreeing. I can see how it would be a distraction, but the theater would be to entertaining to pass up.

Four NFL teams that would rock on 'Hard Knocks' - NFL - Sporting News
1. Oakland Raiders. There's actually some positive energy in Oakland with Hue Jackson in his first year as head coach, and there are some dynamic young players such as Darren McFadden to profile. There's also no aging mogul this side of Donald Trump than Al Davis worthy of weekly reality screen time. As a bonus, the producers might take into account some "Hard Knocks" off the field — we've already seen that from Michael Bush, Louis Murphy and Mario Henderson this offseason.

ESPN's Defining Moment

A couple of weeks ago we talked about ESPN polling Raider fans to pinpoint their defining moment. We chose the arrival of Al Davis and so did they.

Flash Points: Franchise-turning events - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Examining the most crucial event in the history of every team in the division. There is no one in professional sports quite like Al Davis. 

Let's peek outside our pirate ship.

Around the AFC West

Knowshon Moreno could be headed for reduced role in Broncos backfield | ProFootballTalk
The Broncos didn't draft a running back this year, but that doesn't mean Knowshon Moreno's status as the team's primary running back is safe. Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes that the Broncos want a "big back" and now envision Moreno as being "more of a situational player.

The Broncos want a big back you say? If Michael Bush is not a restricted agent when free agency begins I expect the Broncos will be one of the first teams to make an offer.

Caution: The next story may cause any fan of the Raiders a severe headache.

Turner: Antonio Gates is healthy again | ProFootballTalk
Before getting hurt last year, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was having a historic season for a tight end. Gates limped to the finish line, but the Chargers offense did pretty well without him.  (Which says a lot about Philip Rivers.

The Raiders aren't the only team in the division that are working out together.

Matt Cassel, Jonathan Baldwin And Other Kansas City Chiefs Continue Player-Only Practices - Arrowhead Pride
We just mentioned recently that Kansas City Chiefs first round draft pick WR Jonathan Baldwin was hanging out with QB Matt Cassel in Kansas City.

Around the Lockout

Rookie Symposium is Cancelled

The NFL rookie symposium has been cancelled. It is the first and hopefully last event on the 2011 NFL calendar to be cancelled. And now the NFL has just given a little less football to a group of people with less knowledge as to how to adjust to their new life.

Canceled symposium latest lockout blow for NFL rookies - NFL - Sporting News
The purpose of the symposium is to help players in the current draft class prepare as they make the big transition to life in the NFL, including learning how to conduct themselves off the field and how to handle their finances. Those are some important lessons lost when they're most needed during the lockout.

NFL cancels rookie symposium due to labor impasse - ESPN
The NFL has canceled next month's rookie symposium because of the lockout.

Team Fines for Flagrant Hits

Owners overwhelming vote for player safety. They voted unanimously to  keep several player safety measures, like the launching rule, in place. They also voted a unanimous 32-0 to take the flagrant hit penalties over the heads of the players and into the laps of themselves. 

Teams will now be fined money and draft picks when team-wide flagrant hits reach an undisclosed number:

Multiple flagrant hits could lead to increased penalties for NFL teams - latimes.com
As a club's total increases to a certain threshold, we will enforce some … payback to encourage clubs to stay below that threshold," Adolpho Birch, an NFL vice president, told reporters at league meetings in Indianapolis. "We're looking at a system similar to one we instituted a couple years ago with off-field conduct.

NFL to punish teams for players' flagrant hits - ESPN
This should permanently change the mentality of a defensive player trying to loosen the ball to change your target point," said competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. "There were too many hits in the last three years that were legal but we not ones we were comfortable that the player who got hit had any chance to protect himself.